Mirage Omni 350 omnipolar


What can you guys tell me about these and the omnipolar sound?
I've heard it takes getting used to and that one usually likes or hates it. I've also been told that they are good for classical but not so much for rock.
What do you think?
If you've actually heard these please give me the rundown.
Thanks for your help.
griffinconst
I don't know Mirage, (I own Ohm omnis) but a few A'gon posters are enthusiastic about the current discounts on these models from Vanns.com. If the 350 is among these, you might want to e-mail member Johnnyb53 for his thoughts - he's a Mirage guy.

As for omni speakers and rock, I doubt that there's any inherent issue. MBL often demos their omnis with rock because their speakers play LOUD and high SPL rock shows this off nicely. The specific omni characteristics aren't necessarily the primary point there, but, in one track where an electric guitar solo is "hung out in space" in an impressive fashion, the omni dispersion is definitely displayed. I don't know that a ton of rock records allow this kind of trick, but there are certainly a few that do. OTOH, it's probably true that larger ensembles more frequently illustrate this benefits of omnis.

Good Luck

Marty
I don't think they really take getting used to, unless you're used to a limited sweet spot, suckouts, and HF rolloff when you get off-axis. For me that was an easy thing to drop in favor of uniform power response throughout the listening area, more realistic timbres, and the same basic tonal balance wherever you go in the room (excepting, of course, the increased bass in corners and near the back wall.

You still get imaging, about as precise as you get in live music and a realistic soundstage that scales up and down according to the production and size of the ensemble. This does not come at the expense of the midrange; it doesn't sound like it's sitting in a hole, but is transparent and right where it belongs.

The two 5.5" speakers in a column with downfiring woofer works surprisingly well. Bass is very fast and clear, yet full and fairly extended. Should be good for rock. The 350s were from their budget line, now discontinued, with aluminum tweeter and less sophisticated cabinetry, but they should still do a good job for the money. Generally you'll want them 2-3 feet out from the wall, but mostly you lose some soundstage depth if you put them closer to the wall, as with most speakers.
Just an observation here:

Vanns.com has the Mirage 550 CH listed at $300/pair. This looks to be a pretty serious discount and might represent a good alternative to whatever deal you're considering on the 350 - depending on the pricing you've been offered and the relative merits of the 2 models. Johnny, do you know anything about the 550 CH?

The last thing in the world I need is another pair of speakers, but that looks like a pretty low cost of entry for a very interesting design, so...

Marty
Thanks for the good word guys. That was the info and opinions I was hoping for.
Johnny, you answered my prior post about floorstanders under $600. I assume you think these would be a good choice and a great deal at the Vann's sale price?
I read that only black would be available in the U.S. but Vann's says their's are cherry. They look killer with the cherry sides and full legnth black grill on the front.
Thanks again.
Here's the Vann's link to the cherry 550 CH floorstanders. At less than $300/pair with free shipping they're a no-brainer, easily competitive at the $800 price point they were designed for, and will given you fast, deep slammin' bass (but not thumpy one-note frat-house bass) into the 30's.

They have a small footprint and fit easily in a living space, while delivering a big sound when the music calls for it.
Hey John - so fess up,you work at Vann's don't you? Ha ha
I see they are rated below 35hz but don't you think that they're stretching that a tad?
By the way I'll be ordering those in the morning. The girl at Vann's said they were coming in tomorrow. Maybe I'll have them for Saturday night, on second thought, that is stretching it a tad.
Thanks for the help.
No connection with Vann's. I got all my Mirages at discount, but not the kind of discount Vann's has on some of them, particularly the OMD-28 and 550 CH. I own a model that sat between them--the OMD-15, three times the price of the 550 CH and one-third the retail price of the OMD-28. The dimensions of the OMD-15 are very similar to the 550 CH, but with higher level drivers and cabinetry. The bass drivers are actually smaller (5.5") than the ones in the 550 CH, and *definitely* reach well down into the 30's, as I play all manner of bombastic orchestral pieces on them, such as Holst's "The Planets." The OMD-15's have the advantage of Mirage's ribbed elliptical surrounds for better linear excursion, but even so, with two 6.5" drivers, a column like that, and a downfiring woofer, the 550 CH should (once broken in) provide some good reach into the 30's.

Feed 'em some good amplification via some good speaker wires. Bi-wire 'em if they have the dual terminals.
Do those have down a firing woofer? I thought they had one firing forward and the bass/mid firing upward under the tweeter, which also fires upward.
I'll have to go check that. I'll let you know what I find out.
06-30-09: Griffinconst
Do those have down a firing woofer? I thought they had one firing forward and the bass/mid firing upward under the tweeter,
Oops, my bad. I meant to say downfiring *port*. The woofers are forward-facing. The port is downfiring, with the spacers and built-in base to optimize port loading.

Some speakers (the Zu Druid comes to mind) with downfiring ports had inconsistent bass depending on how well the spikes made contact with the floor. The Mirage design takes that variable out of the equation.
Looks like a steal for a decent wide dispersion design at those prices.
Well, I took the plunge on the Mirage OMD-28's today!
Could not help it, as they seem like such a great deal and they only had two pair left in the beautiful Burled Maple.

Should have them mid/late next week,so we will see what
happens.
I'm SO close to biting on that Omni 550's from Vanns. I've always been interested in the Mirage Omni's but have never heard them. I have way to many unused speakers cluttering up the house, don't need to spend the money, and I love my Vandy 1Bs but...........
Well I bought them. For $299 what the heck. If I don't like them...in attic they go for another day. The Vandy 1B vs Omni 550 shootout will be interesting.
07-02-09: Petewhitley
Well I bought them. For $299 what the heck. If I don't like them...in attic they go for another day.
Vann's does have a reasonable return policy.
Very generous indeed. But, for some reason I never return anything. I just file it away. (<:
What all do you got in that attic?
Pete,

I suspect that your attic looks a lot like the "landing" in the stairway to my listening room. I like the use of the phrase "for another day". I generally say the gear is "out of rotation". Six of one...

Marty

PS Please post your opinion of the 550s so that I have more data in deciding whether my "rotation" grows.

Marty
I'm really getting exited about thses speakers. There aren't many reviews on this series of Mirage speakers. I guess their prodution run was brief. I have been reading reviews on the Energy and Athena speakers which use the exact same drivers(I think all three companies are owned by Klipsch) and everyone thinks they are just wonderful. The Onmi 150,350, and 550 us a fiberglass sandwich woofer/mid and an Aluminium tweeter as opposed to the previous version of the 550, the Omni 260, which uses a titanum hybrid. The more expensive OMD-15 also use titanium hybrid. If I like them better than the 1B's that's saying something. I'm really excited to hear this "enveloping sounstage" everyone raves about with the Mirages.

$299 free shipping is a great price. They retail for $800.
I grabbed a pair of the 550s from Vann's to replace my Ohm Walsh 2's which I'll find a new home for. I'm also considering the OMD-28s if the 550s impress me enough. A good friend (earlier poster in this thread) just ordered the 28s so will have to check his out when they come in.
Texas42, I remember you guys. I emailed you about Digital Phase and talked to Telescope_trade on the phone about them. I never did make it up to Chattanooga to hear them.

They (Digital Phase) are great speakers for the price. I love trying out different speaker designs and am always intrigued by speakers that have wide dispersion and room filling sound (as opposed to the 'head in a vice' accurate speakers that only sound good to one person).
07-04-09: Petewhitley
There aren't many reviews on this series of Mirage speakers. I guess their prodution run was brief. I have been reading reviews on the Energy and Athena speakers which use the exact same drivers (I think all three companies are owned by Klipsch) and everyone thinks they are just wonderful.
They were all part of the Canadian company, API (Audio Products International), which was also behind the Sound Dynamics 300ti. Klipsch bought API a few years ago and has been restructuring, resulted in some of these deep discount closeouts. A couple years ago they closed down Athena, resulting in fire sales on Audio Advisor. It looks like they're doing the same thing to the Veritas line in Energy, which was a fabulous line of speakers.

As for Mirage, they shut down development of Mirage's Omniguide-based $20K flagship speaker and a true high end subwoofer. Currently the OMD and Omnisat and Nanosat divisions remain, but the Omnipolar line (150, 350, 550, etc.) has disappeared from the Mirage website. That's why the production run was short. The Omnipolar line bridged the gap between "lifestyle" type Omnisats and the expensive high end OMD series.

The Onmi 150, 350, and 550 us a fiberglass sandwich woofer/mid and an Aluminium tweeter as opposed to the previous version of the 550, the Omni 260, which uses a titanum hybrid. The more expensive OMD-15 also use titanium hybrid. If I like them better than the 1B's that's saying something.
What's the 1B?

I really like the Mirage cloth surround titanium tweeters, but the API group has made a lot of excellent aluminum domes as well. Also, the top line OMD-28s also use fiberglass sandwich woofers.

The online blowouts of the OMD-28s do concern me, however. I hope Klipsch doesn't shut down what made Mirage great. The emergence of their Omniguide technology was a revelation. Originally conceived for their ultra-compact omnisat satellites, the design concept took over almost their entire line of speakers, including the ones at the top.
07-04-09: Texas42
I love trying out different speaker designs and am always intrigued by speakers that have wide dispersion and room filling sound (as opposed to the 'head in a vice' accurate speakers that only sound good to one person).
I remember reading an Stereophile review of the top line Dunlavy's about 24 years ago. Everybody was raving about the detail, but the reviewers had their heads clustered together trying to get a piece of the 3-D imaging. J. Gordon Holt walked into the room, gave 'em a quick listen, and pronounced them the "world's most expensive headphones."

The Omniguide-based speakers are the result of about a dozen years of R&D into how we perceive music, how voices and musical instruments radiate into a room, and how this interaction influences timbre. I find my humble OMD-15s to be some of the most timbre-correct speakers I've ever heard. Basically, head-in-a-vice speakers place you in the recording venue, and things can get really wonky when you step out of the sweet spot. Omnipolars put the musicians in your listening room. Their soundstage is such, however, that the walls of your room will disappear. And while there is an ideal sweet spot, the entire listening area has even tonality and correct timbre.
I almost bought the Veritas monitors far AA a while back. That was a real good deal. The 1B's are Vandersteen 1B's.
After listening to the great Vandersteen 1B's for the last two hours it will be a miracle if the Mirage Omni 550's beat it out. They arrive on Friday.
Do you use a sub with those Vandy's? Don't they only go down to 50hz?
I'm not cutting on them, just askin'.
07-07-09: Petewhitley
After listening to the great Vandersteen 1B's for the last two hours it will be a miracle if the Mirage Omni 550's beat it out. They arrive on Friday.
They're different presentations. The tonal balance should be similar; Vandy's will be more phase-coherent, making it easier to hear certain low level details and more specific individual images. Mirages will have wider dispersion, more uniform power response throughout the room, and probably more bass.
Vandies go down to 38 hz. I don't feel like I need a sub with them.
well, i just thought i'd let people know that after reading this thread i eventually couldn't resist buying a pair of mirage omni 550's from vann's for $299 shipping included. after i bought my pair, the price went up to $380. i'm currently running a pair of tekton 6.5 inch fostex single driver speakers which are amazingly good for the price, but i'm craving a fuller, omni-type sound, also more punch and presence for rock music, so we'll see.

if anyone is interested i'll post some impressions once i've had a listen, but it might be moot at this point since i don't think there can be too many new pairs out there left, though i really don't know (i know there are no black ash 550's left at vann's). it would seem that whoever got the pair on audiogon for $169 really got a deal.
Wow! They just raised the price. It was $299 at noon today. Mine are setup and ready to listen. I haven't heard them yet. I'm going to make an evening of it tomorrow.
Don't know if you believe in breakin but have you been running them just in case or will this be a first play - first listen?
Headed to the listening room right now. Mirage Omni 550 vs. Magnepan SMGas(Peter Gunn modded) vs. Vandrsteen 1B. I'll report back soon.
if you're asking me, i've never heard them, long ago i heard teh mirage m1's, but i know these are different, just wanted an omni sound and don't have much doe, so i figured i why not at this price. definitely not expecting miracles, but feel pretty good about the prospects. oh dear, will probably need a new amp, with the tekton's, i'm using a 15v t-amp. gosh, guess i'll have to buy something else ;)

paul
My OMD 28's are sounding great. So far I have about 70 hours on them and they
starting to open up & relax.
I'm sure they will need a few hundred hours before
they are totally broken in.
So far I really like them a
lot!
These Omni 550's sound great! It makes me wonder how much better the OMD-15 and 28 can possibly be. The treble is smooth and crystalline but the bass is what really surprised me. These things go LOW and with window rattling punch. They are very even keeled speakers that are well balanced. Oddly, in my room, I don't get the enveloping soundstage talked about. They sound like very open conventional speakers to me. The imaging is great also and from anywhere on the couch. I was worried that they would give a hazy image but it is actually pretty defined.
Petewhitley,

The enveloping part of these depends on your room
and even more critical, the placement of the speakers.
Even minute movements make changes, so keep playing
with placement. Also, as they break in, the sound
will change, and require more tweaking.
A buddy of mine also bought a pair of 550's so I will
need to go hear them soon to see how much the 28's differ. But, I think these will be keepers for quite awhile.
They also kick butt for movies, and not sure what I would
have to spend to better them overall. My last speaker BTW
was Von Schweikert VR5 HSE's. They were very nice
also but I think the Mirage are better for "my" taste & needs in a non dedicated music room. (living room)
But that is not to say they would not excel in a dedicated
2 ch music room also.

Really beautiful finish also!
Hi Telescope_trade,

I believe we talked on the phone about Digital Phase speakers a while back. I never did make it up to Chattanooga to hear them. I'm glad you are enjoying the OMD-28s. They are a beautiful speakers. Vann's can come up with some killer deals can't they!
hi everyone,
i just received my omni 550's and, as i mentioned before, i will need a new amplifier, as my 15 t-amp just won't do, though i can get some reasonable volume, it clips well before the speakers run out of steam. so, can somebody recommend a dirt cheap (used) power amp to run these 90db efficient speakers. btw, these mirage speakers are very nice, especially for the money, and i will probably keep them, but they don't have the mid-range presence (and i don't think the timbral accuracy, or for that matter accuracy between frequency regions -- i think they will turn out to be a bit bright) of my tekton single driver speakers, just a bigger, fuller sound, which right now is what i crave in this much bigger space i now inhabit.

anyway, suggestions are most welcome.

thanks,
paul
Do you think those 550's are still a deal at the new higher price? How about the original price of $400 ea.?
I do. I like them so much that I just bought a pair of Omni 150's.
well, i haven't listened enough, they just got here and like i said my amp is underpowered. plus, i haven't owned that many speakers, apogee minigrand, tekton design, and a few lesser speakers. i've never owned speakers in the $800 range. that said, they are very nice, even for $400 a pair, probably more. the omni aspect of the sound is very satisfying, very full and big, you don't think about imaging while listening, so in a way it is less fatiguing. i am looking forward to hearing them and giving them a fair shot. i'll certainly chime in as soon as i can, since there must not be that many left for purchase. it all depends on what one is looking for at the moment, these will suit me fine, but OTOH, i've become much less of an audiophile of late, much more flexible, a consequence of poverty and just wanting to listen to rock music. they lack the detail and tonal richness of the tektons (not that the 550s are bad in these areas, just not as good), but if you're into the omni thing and want a bigger, more enveloping sound, $800 is about as cheap as you can get and still have a good dose (if not a full dose) of the qualities normally found only in audiophile designs. (wish i could afford some ohm walsh models, i bet they are niiiiicccceee)

sorry i can't be more help at the moment.
A good match for these 550's would be the Onkyo A-9555 integrated amp. It lists at $799 but if you shop around you can find it from an authorized dealer for less than $500. That amp really brings speakers like this alive--the amp's fast, clean, extended, well-controlled, and transparent. Keeps the midrange natural and transparent, keeps control over the bass, maintaining clarity and extension.
How much did those Tektons go for? They are way more $ aren't they?
Griffin,
They range in price see their website:
http://www.tektondesign.com/loudspeakers.htm
Harmon Kardon 3490 on Amazon.com for $350 shipped. Very powerful, high current, no frills reciever with remote.

http://www.amazon.com/Harman-Kardon-HK-3490-Receiver/dp/B00198F89A/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1247907958&sr=8-5
Paul,

You're right about the midrange presence. Your speakers are taylor-made for that. I used to have Bob Brines single driver speakers with the Fostex 167E and it provides a much, much different presentation that the Omnni 550's. I never warmed up to the single driver thing. I tried adding super tweeters, phase plugs, adding resisters and never could get them to my liking. I will say that the bass on the 550s is overloading my room, which is 25x15x8. I need to work on that one.

Pete
The Mirage 550 is back down to $299 a pair on vanns.com if anyone is interested.
thanks for the amp selections, i look forward to getting something that can bring out the best of these mirage's. i do like the speakers.

as for the tektons, i paid i think $300 for them two years ago, now they are $350 are their website, but $435 on the obadimports site, which is where i ordered my Trends 10.1 t-amp, a very lush, very good combination. in a smallish room, one they can pressurize adequately, i think they are quite impressive, the cheapest entry into the high end that i know of.
Pete,

If your bass issues are mainly in the octave around/above 80hz (true of a LOT of speaker/room combinations), the addition of a "bassbuster" (hemholtz resonator) will likely work wonders. It did for me.

Marty
Hi Marty,

I few years ago I made these things for sound absorbtion to put behind Magnepans. They are five foot high tubes about a foot wide covered with a thick polyester cloth. I put them in the attic a few years ago for a rainy day. Maybe that rainy day have come! Do you think this would help?

Thanks,

PEte
Hey Petewhitley,

Good to hear form you again! We did talk about the
DP speakers awhile back. They are the same pair
here for sale buy a buddy of mine, Great speakers!
Did your 550's come with bass port plugs? If so, you might
want to try that if you are unable to pull them off the back
wall enough.
I also find that because of the Omni design of the speakers
that the conventional way of pointing a direct firing speaker at you does not apply. I have one speaker toed
out about 1" or more that the other to even things up real nice.
Depends on you room and it's reflections. Lots of tweaking to get these babies to really sing, but man when you get them set up right, you will know it. Plus I have around
100 hours or so and they have really opened up and relaxed.

The bass was rubbery sounding for a long time, now that
is going away and they are really starting to punch hard
with no boomy overhang. They to were over loading
my room, but I have them about 3.5' off the back wall
and that seems to be the best spot. I'm sure they will need about 500 hrs to be completely broken in.

BTW, on my carpet I also find I like them better "without"
the floor spikes.